ʿABD-AL-RAZZĀQ BĀŠTĪNĪ, first leader of the Sarbadār uprising of Bayhaq. His career, like the entire history of the Sarbadār’s, is related in a contradictory fashion by the Timurid period chroniclers. With appropriate details, he is pictured as violent and dissolute. Büchner (“Serbedārs,” EI1 IV, pp. 231-33) is astonished at this depiction, and Petrushevskiĭğ sees in it the desire of “feudal” historiography to blacken the instigator of a popular uprising. In fact, this gallows-bird (sar ba-dār) was no revolutionary at all, much less a social reformer. The son of a wealthy landowner of Bayhaq, he joined one of his brothers, Amīn-al-dīn, a famous wrestler, in the horde of the Il-Khan Abū Saʿīd in Azerbaijan. He distinguished himself in this typically Khorasanian profession. A tour as tax collector in Kermān rewarded his talents. He squandered the sums collected in debauchery when the Il-khan died. In March, 1337, when he returned to his native town, he associated himself with an unsuccessful village protest provoked by the fiscal measures of the vizier ʿAlāʾ-al-dīn Moḥammad Faryūmadī. The town of Bayhaq felt great bitterness for the family of this vizier because of his corrupt practices. At the head of a band of country boys (rūstāʾī bačča), ʿAbd-al-Razzāq ran the region of Bāštīn, pillaging the caravans and attempting surprise attacks against the fortresses. In September, 1337, he succeeded in taking Sabzavār; and in November he marched on Faryūmad, which he pillaged. Directed more against the Faryūmadī family than against Mongol control, the Sarbadār uprising gained strength thanks to the absence of a part of the tribal contingents which had left Khorasan to conquer Azerbaijan. The movement was soon dealt a blow by the rural landowners, whose political aspirations and organizational capacities were represented by another brother of ʿAbd-al-Razzāq, Vaǰīh-al-dīn Masʿūd. An adventurer without scope, ʿAbd-al-Razzāq had no other plan than to “battle tyrants” and to profit from his power in order to go on a spree. The scandal of his morals gave reason to get rid of him. In May/June or July, 1338, he was assassinated by Vaǰīh-al-dīn Masʿūd. As a type of exalted pahlavān, thirsty for physical and sexual prowess and deprived of political conscience, ʿAbd-al-Razzāq belonged to a long series of mediocrities who were soon engulfed by the social movement which they helped to initiate.
See also: SARBADĀRS.
Bibliography : The majority of sources are late and tendentious, including the works of Ḥāfeẓ-e Abrū, Dawlatšāh, and Mīrḵᵛānd; the exception is Faryūmadī’s Ḏayl-e maǰmaʿ al-ansāb. The latter was used in I. P. Petrushevskiĭ, Zemledelie i agrarnye otnosheniya v Irane XIII-XIV vekov, Moscow-Leningrad, 1960; on ʿAbd-al-Razzāq, see pp. 433-37; Pers. tr., Kešāvarzī va monāsebāt-e arżī dar Īrān-e ʿahd-e moḡol (qarnhā-ye 13 va 14 mīlādī), 2 vols., Tehran, 1344 Š./1965. A chronology of Sarbadarid power has been attempted in John Masson Smith, Jr., The History of the Sarbadar Dynasty, 1336-1381 A.D., and its Sources, The Hague and Paris, 1970; on ʿAbd-al-Razzāq, see pp. 103-09.
Originally Published: December 15, 1982
Last Updated: July 14, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 2, pp. 153-154
J. Aubin, “'Abd-Al-Razzaq Bastini,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/2, pp. 153-154; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abd-al-razzaq-bastini (accessed on 16 January 2014).